2020 Commitments to Racial Equity

In June 2020, Washington University committed to a number of concrete actions geared toward addressing systemic racism and its toll on our Black communities. The information on this page provides updates on the progress of each goal expressed in Chancellor Andrew D. Martin’s message to the university community. The progress reflected here is part of a far broader range of university initiatives to advance diversity, equity and inclusion

We invite you to track our progress on our diversity site by visiting: https://diversity.wustl.edu/framework/2020-commitments-to-racial-equity/ There we post our recent progress towards the seven goals stated in Chancellor Martin’s message to the university community:

1) Establish an Equity and Inclusion Council

To help align priorities with resources, track progress and guide our work, we have created the Washington University Equity and Inclusion Council (WUEIC), comprising students, faculty and staff. The council provides a sustainable structure for prioritizing and implementing the important recommendations of our Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, which submitted its action plan in 2017. The council will serve as a convening body that creates and maintains collective and representative voice, alignment, and accountability for our institutional commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

2) Reimagine campus safety in partnership with our students

It is vitally important that all members of our university community, especially our Black students, faculty, staff and visitors, feel safe and have access to appropriate resources to support their security and well-being. We commit to engaging in an open and transparent review process, inclusive of and in consultation with our Black student leaders, to study our approach to safety, and to ensure that we have the right structures in place to keep our community safe.

3) Recommit ourselves to diversity in hiring and contracting

We are renewing our commitment to recruiting, hiring and supporting the university’s diverse staff and faculty workforce, and expanding our Supplier Diversity Initiative, which identifies viable opportunities at the university for qualified diverse enterprises and helps to sustain these companies over the long term. 

4) Build a world-class research program on race

We have a formidable faculty doing pioneering research on race, and we are aggressively building on this strength in numerous ways. 

5) Engage more deeply with St. Louis and strengthen our investment in regional efforts to combat racial inequities

St. Louis is home to exceptional organizations and individuals leading the fight against racial inequity. They are on the front lines of this vital work and we are committed to their success.

6) Reaffirm our support for causes that advance equity

We have an opportunity – and responsibility – to take a stand on issues that are driving systemic structures on the local, state and federal level. 

7) Invest in our people and programs

Redouble our efforts to ensure that we are supporting every individual who studies, teaches or works on our campuses with the resources they need in order to succeed. We are especially called at this moment to focus our attention on our Black students, faculty and staff, along with other underrepresented groups, to deepen our capacity for supporting their success.